2 person race for the GOP nomination?

John Hood at NRO suggests the ’08 race for the GOP nomination is a two person race between Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson:

John McCain is out of it, Newt Gingrich will enter too late, and Rudy Giuliani is a longshot whose only chance is if the mainstream candidates competitive in the early states beat each other’s brains out.

I disagree with Hood and agree with John Podhoretz

Thompson is now leading him (Giuliani) in one poll having done absolutely nothing as yet. Romney is ahead in Iowa and New Hampshire to some degree because he’s the only person putting resources in there. Thompson will probably have a very good summer, but at some point he’s going to have to say something substantive, and that may take him down a few notches. (For you Romneyites who think I’m talking down his strength in these two states, please note I’m not the only person saying this. Michael Barone, who knows everything about politics, said it this week too.)

Remember this—if Giuliani wins Florida and New Jersey and New York and California by February 5, he will have at least twice as many delegates in his pocket as anybody else. What this means is simple: He’s going to have to melt down on his own by January — the way McCain seems to have melted down — if he isn’t at least to be a factor in the nominating process.

Giuliani’s continued strength in the national polls, his strength in places like South Carolina (where he leads) as well as his relative strength against potential Democratic nominees make a strong case for Rudy being the GOP frontrunner at this time.

A Giuliani-Thompson ticket doesn’t sound all that bad.


  1. Erick says:

    It is a Rudy v. Fred race now. Romney has gotten no traction outside of Iowa and New Hampshire. The problem for Romney is that he positioned his candidacy as an old style ticket without a spread of resources for the compact, big-game primary.

    He’s going to spend a whole lot of money just to stay competitive.

  2. Icarus says:

    Unless a lot of candidates drop out that currently carry 5%+ in the polls, you can’t count out Giuliani, as John Hood is quick to do. All the other candidates are fighting for the typical Republican base. I believe Rudy can stay between 25-40% of the primary vote by being Rudy.

    I think those who discount Thompson for a lack of substance do so at their own peril. His topics when he filled in for Paul Harvey, and his under-the-radar attack on Michael Moore show he can handle tough issues and dust it up with anyone.

    I don’t see any way Romney gets close to the nomination, but he has enough money and organization to get through Feb 5th.

    Ultimately, I see a showdown between Fred and Rudy, and I can support either.

  3. buzzbrockway says:

    I didn’t mean to appear to be discounting Fred’s substance. The point is once he articulates more policy stances he’s bound to lose some support – it’s inevitable.

  4. JRM2016 says:

    With all due respect, I don’t care what the polls say right now. McCain wins SC unless there are some major defections or he quits by then.

    People thought Bush was toast in SC after his NH loss on February 1, 2000. They were wrong. 18 days later he won SC and the nomination.

    I don’t dispute the delegate issue raised here (in fact I think this is the greatest chance in recent memory for a nomination fight to go the distance to the convention itself) but don’t tell me Giuliani wins SC.

  5. Icarus says:

    I wasn’t directing that at you, Buzz, but I do read it in a lot of “analysis” of the race.

    I actually believe Fred can continue to pick up support as he outlines his positions. It’s his ability to communicate and be articulate when conveying his stances that will give voters reassurance, and draw support to him.

    What I still really, really want to see is how Fred polls in states like OH, PA, WI, MO, and other “purple” states. The cards are stacked against us this year. We need the “Reagan Democrats” back. That’s why I still hold out hope for Giuliani, as well.

  6. Dave Helmick says:

    Fred needs to quickly get a response to “Where’s the beef?” if he can get the nomination. He was recently asked to name his major accomplishments in the Senate, and you can see his less than remarkable response here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0607/4637.html.

    He could pull it out and prove to be a winner, but this is a concern. Politics is about records after all, not just star power. Let’s all take a deep breath for Fred and wait for him to announce.

    Romney is the candidate that can surprise people. He’s got a good record, and when people see what he is about they will begin to like him. He has a great campaign story as a turn-around artist.

    Save me the ad hominem all you naysayers- I’m not working for Romney and am not affiliated with his campaign, but am familiar with the man and his record of accomplishments. Just trying to give an unbiased opinion, without platitudes or campaign rhetoric.

  7. ConservativeCaucus says:

    drjay… are you kidding?

    McCain has been conistently conservative on Gov’t Spending/Earmarks, strong military, and has a pro-life voting record (I know there are some on here who dispute that pro-life is a conservative position – not asking for a debate on that one). He has certainly been on the wrong side on major issues of our day – voted against ’01 and ’03 tax cuts, sponsored restriction of free speech (McCain-Feingold), and has been a leading proponent of “comprehensive imigration reform.” He is far from the ONLY true, proven conservative in the race.

    I would easily put Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, Tom Tancredo, and Sam Brownback (until the immigration fiasco) as true, proven conservatives. Also, Huckabee and Hunter are two candidates moving up the polls while McCain is moving down… Huckabee has even moved ahead of McCain in the latest Iowa poll.

  8. Holly says:

    Conservative, you need to pay attention to the comments more often. Dr. Jay was being tongue-in-cheek with his remark! 😉

  9. Clint Austin says:

    I think anyone who holds forth that this is a Romney-Thompson race is clearly substituting personal preference for good judgement. Thompson is about to suck all the wind out of Romney’s room (in fact, that sound you hear is the process of it already commencing…)

    To me it is pretty clear – this is now a Giuliani/Thompson race, and the frontloading of the race only helps Giuliani.

    In the end as a Republican, this is a great primary contest that will showcase the two most articulate candidates we have (both are the anti-Bush in terms of presentation) in a year when we need some individual star power to overcome the trend against us.

    In the end, I think Giuliani wins – but I feel even more hopeful it will be a Giuliani/Thompson or Thompson/Giuliani ticket, which is the best hand we can lay on the table given circumstances.

  10. ConservativeCaucus says:

    I believe that Guiliani can win the GOP nomination. Guiliani’s best hope is for the field to remain large. If he can go into February 5th with 8 or more candidates, I think he could pull it off. Romney, Thompson, McCain, (and Huckabee or Hunter if they catch on) will split the remaining +/-75%… giving America’s Mayor a plurality of votes.

    That being said, I think one or two candidates emerge as the anti-Guiliani (most likely Thompson and Romney) and defeat Rudy. Perhaps… if he wants it… Guiliani will be a VP candidate.

  11. Bull Moose says:

    The respected Cook Political Report/RT Strategies poll released today has Rudy Giuliani and John McCain tied with 20% each among Republicans. The former New York Mayor has watched a 19 point lead steadily disappear over the last several months according to this same poll.

  12. Bull Moose says:

    And am I the only one that noticed that Giuliani’s state director just admitted that his candidate would take the number 2 spot?

    Are we conceeding defeat?

  13. Clint Austin says:

    Not conceding anything. I do not like making irrational predictions about whether Giuliani will win, because I think he will – but he might not, and if he doesn’t, it will be Thompson defeating him.

    In the spirit of open discussion – and putting the p arty first – I am willing to discuss Giuliani and Thompson ending up on a ticket together. Makes a lot of sense in my book.

    As for McCain, while I respect your devotion to him and respect his service to the country, I think he is already out of the race and time will soon catch up with him. I frankly think he never ends up on a ballot because he will gracefully withdraw before the inevitable defeats occur.

  14. IndyInjun says:

    Those guys are just more of the same POISON destroying this country and I won’t vote for any of the ‘top 3.’

    For me it’s Ron Paul or a third party, although at this point the GOP has me so chapped I might even vote for Hillary.

    When you live long enough you discover that there is a first time for everything.

  15. joe says:


    So if the election is Bloomberg, Clinton, Giuliani–you vote for ??? I could not possibly pick one of those.

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